on discussing god and religion

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Wed Sep 05, 2018 5:36 pm

From "The Basis of Morality" by Tim Madigan in Philosophy Now magazine.

To ask questions about the origins of moral principles was often taken to be the same thing as raising questions about either the existence or the goodness of the supernatural beings who had supposedly given these tenets. Socrates found this out when, in 399 B.C.E., he was placed on trial by his fellow Athenians for the capital offense of spreading disbelief in the gods. In his defense, he argued that, in encouraging people to try to understand the meaning of moral terms like ‘goodness’, ‘virtue’ and ‘happiness’ he was actually acting on behalf of the gods. He did not convince the jury, which sentenced him to death – an act that has generally been thought to have been highly immoral.


In fact this can still be what is at sake when you bring God and religion down out of the theological clouds and implicate them in the actual existential interactions of flesh and blood human beings. The part where, among other things, The Bible meets The Communist Manifesto or The Wealth of Nations.

In other words, the part where actual individuals move back and forth between rendering unto God and rendering unto Caesar. That governing body otherwise known as the state.

And while in much of the world today you are not likely to meet Socrates's fate, there are still any number of places where that is nowhere near out of the question.

And even in places like America where God and religion are particularly well-entrenched, you roll the dice when choosing behaviors deemed to be "unChristian."

The point being that one way or another, a narrative will be found that rationalizes either rewarding or punishing certain behaviors. It just comes down to how intertwined the interests of sacred and the secular become in any partivular historical or cultural context.

The "politics" of religion.

Which reflects in part just how problematic it can be for the moral nihilists. It's one thing to argue back and forth about the "transcending source" of morality, another thing altogether to suggest that there may well not be one.

Folks like Nietzsche got around this by eschewing God but then reconfiguring right and wrong into one or another rendition of the "will to power". In other words, though God is dead, morality can still be manifested in those men who deserve to call the shots. Might makes right meets right makes might.

The crucial thing being that there is still a font that mere mortals can invest "I" in. In becoming one of the Übermensch.

Think Satyr and his clique/claque over at KT.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Thu Sep 06, 2018 5:33 pm

Quantum mechanics has already established that we are here, there, and here/there at the same time. The rabbit hole get's wider and deeper... Chaos theory has provided hints that there might be order at a level even beyond quantum mechanics, but for now, it's just theory. The point is that if we can't even be sure of "here", what do we really know?


This is something I often find myself coming back to with respect to either God in the universe or the universe in God. The universe manifested in the world of the very, very large [the surreal multiverse?] and the very, very small [the surreal quantum world?].

Namely this: Does the world of the very, very large and the very small exist as they do because this in the way God created them, or did God create them as He did because this is the only way that they could have been created?

Which [of course] takes the mind [mine] back to the profound mystery that surely must be embedded in the existence of existence itself.

In fact, nowadays that more or less reflects what is still left of my own religious sense. Why something exists rather than nothing, and why it exists as it does and not in some other way, is something I am just not able to wrap my mind around at all. So, sure, from time to time I think, why not God?

But then it all tumbles over into the abyss. Nothing of any real substantial value mamages to "stick".
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:56 pm

Religion is a human experience. If we expect religion to be any more rational than people are, we're gong to be disappointed. Then again, I meant rationality there as narrowly defined as something that can be argued coherently for. Depth psychology and now neuro-science supports Blaise Pascal's aphorism that "'The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of... We know the truth not only by the reason, but by the heart."


What is this however but a suggestion that religion is as much a reflection of what we want to be true as it is what we are able to demonstrate to others [or even to ourselves] is true. And, for some of us, considerably more. It becomes a reflection of what we yearn for in order to make life more bearable on this side of the grave and even possible at all on the other side of it.

The deeper we go psychologically, the more it seems that coherence is just a frame of mind that allows us to square or to reconcile what we see around us [in a frightening world] with a yearning for an explanation that can somehow be squared or reconciled with the "will of God".

And the human brain is wired such that one only has to believe this in order for it to be true "for all practical purposes". We behave in accordance with what we think is true. It doesn't necessarily actually have to be true.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:50 pm

God is God and I'm a part of God. God knows me fully whilst I don't know it fully.

God can know what my experiences are like because I am a part of God. I cannot know what God's experiences are like because I'm not God, I'm just a part of God. I don't have the capacity to know what being omnipresent is like whereas that which is omnipresent has the full capacity to know what non-omnipresence is like.


We get this sort of thing from religious folks all the time.

As though others are expected to believe that something like this is true simply because someone believes that it is.

Of course some will argue they don't believe that this is true so much as that they have faith in it being true.

And that is certainly something that is not an irrational thing to believe. God would seem to be one possible explanation for the existence of existence itself.

And the more you think about how and why this something exists rather than something else or nothing at all, you are right out there at the very end of the metaphysical limb. The deeper you go the "spookier" existence itself can seem.

So, sure, why suppose that God and religion can be ruled out.

Still, the last thing that many who think like the poster above will be willing to concede, is that they believe what they do either because others told them to, or because it just feels a whole lot more conforting to believe it than to not believe it.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby The Eternal Warrior » Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:25 pm

iambiguous wrote:
God is God and I'm a part of God. God knows me fully whilst I don't know it fully.

God can know what my experiences are like because I am a part of God. I cannot know what God's experiences are like because I'm not God, I'm just a part of God. I don't have the capacity to know what being omnipresent is like whereas that which is omnipresent has the full capacity to know what non-omnipresence is like.


And the more you think about how and why this something exists rather than something else or nothing at all, you are right out there at the very end of the metaphysical limb. The deeper you go the "spookier" existence itself can seem.



Yeah, I've seen that nightmare. I've also seen what's there when you 'overcome' it and get past the 'spookiness' of it.
(Reality isn't so kind. Everything doesn't work out the way you want it to. That's why...) As long as you don’t get your hopes up, you can take anything... You feel less pain.

(Right and wrong are not what separate us and our enemies. It's our different standpoints, our perspectives that separate us. Both sides blame one another. There's no good or bad side. Just two sides holding different views.)

What do you think? To tell you the truth... I worry too much about what others think of me. I hate that side of me... That's why I didn't want anyone to get to know me. I wanted to hide that side of myself. I hate it.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sun Oct 21, 2018 7:46 pm

The Eternal Warrior wrote:

Yeah, I've seen that nightmare. I've also seen what's there when you 'overcome' it and get past the 'spookiness' of it.


Okay, describe for us how you have in fact come to embody this "overcoming" in the course of living your life from day to day.

And then connect that to the OP: to the manner in which someone who has "overcome the spookiness" is able entwine this new frame of mind into his behaviors on this side of the grave so as to achieve that which he is after regarding his soul on the other side of the grave.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Tue Nov 20, 2018 8:27 pm

Were religions the first propagators of Fake News?

Fake News is considered to be lies or distortions of the truth. The first wholesale use of lies may have been religions.


Obviously, a lot of this revolves around intentions. For those whose faith in God is genuine, religion is their connection to immortality, salvation and divine justice. On the other hand, re folks like Marx, religion is construed to be but the "opiate of the masses". And then there are those who note how religion can be used as a political tool to control the masses.

On the other hand, fake news as we bandy it about these days may or may not have a religious element. And those who propagate it may or may not be aware of just how fake it actually is. Again, it can be used as a tool to control those unable or unwilling to dig down deep enough to discover the extent to which the news is fake.

Cue, among others, Niccolò Machiavelli.

Or, perhaps, Don Trump?

But in either case it still revolves around the extent to which what you believe is true is something you can demonstrate that other rational men and women are obligated to believe is true in turn.

And then the part where rationality itself can only go in so far. And can only explain so much.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Tue Dec 18, 2018 8:38 pm

Shame & Guilt were not invented by Abrahamism; they were weaponized, used as a tool to manipulate and exploit, basing it on lies.
Christians, in particular, used a hypothetical primordial event, to shame and seed guilt in its minions.


First of all, both historically and culturally, "guilt and shame" are clearly embedded deep down in the human brain. We all come into this world genetically equipped to feel these things.

So they were actually "invented" by nature itself. Then it comes down to the extent to which "I" have any substantial capacity to choose or not to choose to feel them autonomously in any particular context.

But, historically, religion is hardly the only memetic contraption to "weaponize" them. Political ideologues can do [and have done] the same. Just as those who [philosophically] embrace one or another deonotolgical assesment of human interactions speak of things like "categorical imperatives" and "moral obligation" in judging the behaviors of others.

Or the folks who insist that only those who embrace their own assement of human nature can be admitted as "one of us".

Like most things embedded in human raltionships, there is that enormously complex and convoluted line to be drawn between genes and memes.

Christians here are just one of hundreds and hundreds of objectivist fonts intent on shaming those who refuse to draw the line where they do.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Tue Dec 25, 2018 7:41 pm

...theism cannot & NEVER be justified rationally.


Theism: belief in the existence of a god or gods, especially belief in one god as creator of the universe, intervening in it and sustaining a personal relation to his creatures

Rational: based on or in accordance with reason or logic


Here and now there does not appear to be an accumulation of evidence that allows folks like me to rationally believe in the existence of one or of many Gods.

But that's not the same as insisting that there is no accumulation of evidence out there.

Even a belief in No God ultimately comes down to a leap of faith.

And that's where we are collectively. Existence clearly seems to be all around us. Why? God is the explanation of choice. But "reason" here seems to be embedded as much in human psychology as in cold hard logic. We want God to exist because He becomes the moral font on this side of the grave and the source for immortality and salvation on the other side.

But: making this argument hardly settles it.

It would seem necessary that existence itself was either created or not. But there does not appear to be a way in which to establish that it was created by No God.

So, until there is a "philosophical" or "scientific" explanation for existence, God will always be around.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Fri Dec 28, 2018 9:07 pm

Modernism believes in the absolute ONE - human reason being a reflection of God's natural order, in a post-Abrahamic one-god world.
It believes in absolute order. A secularized form of Abrahamism.


It's not that modernism believes in the absolute ONE, but that there are dozens and dozens of hopelessly conflicting and contradictory narratives out there all espousing one or another authoritarian rendition of it.

The "one of us" ONE in other words.

And that's before we get to all of the various post-modern attempts to deconstruct ONE into an essentially absurd and meaningless world.

And the irony then being that their own intellectual contraption ONEs are but more psychological/secular manifestations of God.

Some believe that the ONE truth revolves around their own understanding of Nature. Figure out how it is "natural" to behave and you won't need God.

But, of course, they have already figured this out for you.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:18 pm

The atheist community has portrayed itself to me as a wounded animal best observed from a distance. They should work on not being the monster they are fighting.


This sort of thing is always tricky. And that's because God and religion can be understood in two very different ways.

On the one hand, discussions and debates about God and religion can unfold in places like this. Arguments are made involving conflicting sets of assumptions embedded in conflicting sets of premises resulting in conflicting conclusions. But, by and large, the exchanges are aggregations of intellectual contraptions swatted back and word in a world of words.

But out in the world that we live in combustible beliefs about God and religion can easily become embedded in any number of "for all practical purposes" confrontations. Then we have things like crusades and inquisitions and infidels and fatwas and evangelical bluster about those "left behind".

And while the faithful concentrate on all the good that can come from religious faith, many in the atheist community point to the at times very real human pain and suffering that can be attributed to conflicts over God and religion.

And then the part where those wealthy folks in power use religion as the "opiate for the people". All in a more or less calculated effort to sustain economic and political relationships that make God and religion all that more crucial for those focused more on "salvation" in the next life.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:11 pm

I think a woman could wear an Easter bonnet on Easter church attendance, which is the current tradition, and even consider herself a feminist. But a woman wearing a burkha - which is worn year round, that is the tradition - would be fooling herself to call herself a feminist.


This sort of thing speaks volumes regarding a fundamental role that religion plays in the lives of many.

It takes behaviors in which the options might be vast and varied and reduces them down to either this or that. It's not what you choose to wear but that what you choose to wear is more or less obligatory. That way you don't really have to choose at all.

And you don't have to grapple with feminism because the particular religious denomination that you have been brought up in tells you how to be a righteous man and how to be a rigteous woman.

Some things are inherently the same, other things inherently different. But there is always someone there to make those distinctions. To prescribe and to proscribe certain behaviors. To make them a necessary part of your life.

And, as we all know, what you choose to wear can be the least of it.

Still, in the modern world all of this gets more and more complicated. And that is because we have access to so many alternatives. Others have reasons for doing things differently. Why our ways and not theirs?

Also, in the world today, religion is often more an ecumenical hodge-podge of whatever behaviors can be rationalized. So those who choose to wear burkhas [or allowed others to choose that for them] might be seen as a reaction to that. It might even be argued that they take their religion more seriously.

And, with immortality, salvation and devine justice at stake on the other side, why wouldn't they?

And then the part where historically religion and patriarchy become intertwined in a political narrative in turn.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby felix dakat » Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:36 am

I thought comparing the Easter bonnet to the burka would be amusing as well as instructive. But when religion and God are taken literally, it has a way of taking all the fun out of it. Oh well. :confusion-shrug:

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:23 pm

felix dakat wrote:I thought comparing the Easter bonnet to the burka would be amusing as well as instructive. But when religion and God are taken literally, it has a way of taking all the fun out of it. Oh well. :confusion-shrug:
Well, I did learn about the differences between men and women's head coverings, the reason for them, in Christianity. So that was instructive. I didn't realize it was meant to be amusing, I might have just let it go. Everyone is taking something literally, even if it's the difference between literal and metaphorical and how one determines the difference. Which everyone seems to have a take on.

As a side note, if you remove all literalness from metaphors, they mean nothing.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:57 pm

felix dakat wrote:I thought comparing the Easter bonnet to the burka would be amusing as well as instructive. But when religion and God are taken literally, it has a way of taking all the fun out of it. Oh well. :confusion-shrug:


And why is that? Well, think about it. We can go on and on and on exploring religion analytically as philosophers. But the bottom line is that Gods exists because in a far more visceral and fundamentally important way they need to exist.

On this side of the grave to become Kant's transcending font able to back up your moral obligations from the cradle to the grave. And on the other side to ensure both immortality, salvation and divine justice.

What else is there that "for all practical purposes" even comes close?

The secular objectivists might secure for you an essential moral and a political agenda. A psychological anchor. But this obligates you "as a rational human being" to share them. To become "one of us".

But they have nothing with which to confront oblivion.

So, if one takes religion seriously why wouldn't one take "the word of God" encompassed in one or another scripture seriously?

As for literally, the problem with this is that, as many have shown time and again, there are any number of passages in any number of scriptures that are either 1] open to a broad interpretation or 2] are completely contradictory:

https://www.atheists.org/activism/resou ... adictions/
https://ffrf.org/legacy/books/lfif/?t=contra

It's the modern "ecumenical" approach to God that turns a belief in Him into a kind of spiritual cafeteria. You pick and choose the behaviors that are the least burdensome. That are the least restrictive in your interactions with others.

Indeed, the behaviors that permit you to have the most "fun" before you die. But that still ensure you all the good stuff after you [as a mere mortal] are dead and gone.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby felix dakat » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:50 am

iambiguous wrote:
felix dakat wrote:I thought comparing the Easter bonnet to the burka would be amusing as well as instructive. But when religion and God are taken literally, it has a way of taking all the fun out of it. Oh well. :confusion-shrug:


And why is that? Well, think about it. We can go on and on and on exploring religion analytically as philosophers. But the bottom line is that Gods exists because in a far more visceral and fundamentally important way they need to exist.

On this side of the grave to become Kant's transcending font able to back up your moral obligations from the cradle to the grave. And on the other side to ensure both immortality, salvation and divine justice.

What else is there that "for all practical purposes" even comes close?

The secular objectivists might secure for you an essential moral and a political agenda. A psychological anchor. But this obligates you "as a rational human being" to share them. To become "one of us".

But they have nothing with which to confront oblivion.

So, if one takes religion seriously why wouldn't one take "the word of God" encompassed in one or another scripture seriously?

As for literally, the problem with this is that, as many have shown time and again, there are any number of passages in any number of scriptures that are either 1] open to a broad interpretation or 2] are completely contradictory:

https://www.atheists.org/activism/resou ... adictions/
https://ffrf.org/legacy/books/lfif/?t=contra

It's the modern "ecumenical" approach to God that turns a belief in Him into a kind of spiritual cafeteria. You pick and choose the behaviors that are the least burdensome. That are the least restrictive in your interactions with others.

Indeed, the behaviors that permit you to have the most "fun" before you die. But that still ensure you all the good stuff after you [as a mere mortal] are dead and gone.


What are we if not primates with hyperactive imaginations and the linguistic ability to communicate some sense of our inner life through language and art? We have an intuition of not being which terrifies us but we can only imagine it in terms of symbols as for example darkness. We spontaneously imagine our deepest desires in dreams and visions and act them out in rituals.

At some point in the development of human society males became dominant. Therefore, most of the recorded expressions of deep fantasy which became the holy texts of the dominant religions are from the male point of view. The female point of view was largely suppressed. Hence the women shaming, head coverings and veils etc. which are so much a part of traditional religions.

The fun part for me is digging into this stuff. It's as serious as a heart attack. But, for the most part, it can't be expressed literally without metaphor as far I am aware. Whatever... it's human all too human, and so am I.

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:29 pm

felix dakat wrote:What are we if not primates with hyperactive imaginations and the linguistic ability to communicate some sense of our inner life through language and art? We have an intuition of not being which terrifies us but we can only imagine it in terms of symbols as for example darkness. We spontaneously imagine our deepest desires in dreams and visions and act them out in rituals.


Back again to the profound mystery embedded in matter evolving into life evolving into consciousness evolving into self-consciousness evolving into "a God, the God, my God" creating it all.

How? Why?

And then those who are able to convince themselves that "an answer, the answer, my answer" either explains it all or [so far] comes closest.

felix dakat wrote:At some point in the development of human society males became dominant. Therefore, most of the recorded expressions of deep fantasy which became the holy texts of the dominant religions are from the male point of view. The female point of view was largely suppressed. Hence the women shaming, head coverings and veils etc. which are so much a part of traditional religions.


And that would seem to be less the providence of God and more the providence of a biology that throughout much of human history favored the bigger and stronger male in a world where only women became pregnant.

The world that folks like Satyr over at KT insist is still the genetic basis for the "natural behaviors" that he and his ilk espouse re gender interaction.

To wit:

AutSider [remember him here?]:

Women are easy to dominate, only men can truly test other men's "vitality". Dominating women in all realms is basic for men in a healthy society, in-group and out-group male hierarchies are the real tests.


Or think of the reactions we come upon whenever Nancy Pelosi dares to stand up to Don Trump.

Genes and considerably more modern memes hopelessly entangled in all manner of conflicting political narratives.

Further entangled in all manner of conflicting God/No God narratives.

felix dakat wrote:The fun part for me is digging into this stuff. It's as serious as a heart attack. But, for the most part, it can't be expressed literally without metaphor as far I am aware. Whatever... it's human all too human, and so am I.


True all too true. But I keep coming around and pointing out that all the digging in the world won't close the gap between what we think we know is true "in our head" "here and now" and all that would need to be known about existence itself in order to know.

And then the part about oblivion.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby felix dakat » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:38 pm

Yeah the evolution of consciousness is a mystery that natural selection doesn't quite explain. And coincidentally consciousness is what gives life meaning.

If Dawkins hadn't told us in the blind watchmaker that the evidence of evolution reveals a universe without design one might think there was an algorithm for consciousness in the laws of nature. Of course, Daniel Dennett claimed that he explained consciousness. But Neuroscience doesn't seem to be there yet.

The fact that people are able to convince themselves that they have the answer to it all or that their answer comes the closest I attribute to the will to power. When you see that you see the fallacy of it. Nevertheless, it's a drive I see in myself as well as others.

God I see as a symbol for ultimate reality. I'm agnostic about what that is but I spontaneously think that there is one though it stands indeterminate and unconditioned against what can be known. Of course, the radical pragmatist denies there is an ultimate reality. That's counterintuitive, but so are a lot of things that are apparently the case. So, even on that, I discover I am now agnostic.

Dominance hierarchies go back as far as the lobster as Jordan Peterson famously argues. But even Peterson admits that dominance hierarchies are not necessarily male-dominated. And to argue that because that's the way things have been that's the way they always must be is simply fallacious.

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:28 am

felix dakat wrote: Yeah the evolution of consciousness is a mystery that natural selection doesn't quite explain. And coincidentally consciousness is what gives life meaning.


But what seems particularly difficult for consciousness to grapple with [and then to grasp] is the possibility that this meaning is derived only from the illusion of free will.

Just as I seem to embody meaning in my dreams only to wake up and realize that however much "I" seemed to be utterly real in the dream, it was only a "me" constructed entirely by my brain.

The most mysterious thing here [for me] revolves around encounting those who actually imagine that how they think about all this is the way it actually all is!

Some then extend this -- what I construe to be an objectivist mentality -- to the is/ought world. And then on into an imagined immortality and salvation.

Thus to the extent that someone like Dawkins argues that he has already explained human consciousness, is, in my view, just another rendition of the psychology of objectivism. Only he has indeed invested a great deal of time and effort in thinking these things through. Better that than all those who make all manner of preposterous claims based on one or another religious or metaphysical dogma.

felix dakat wrote: The fact that people are able to convince themselves that they have the answer to it all or that their answer comes the closest I attribute to the will to power. When you see that you see the fallacy of it. Nevertheless, it's a drive I see in myself as well as others.


Also, I think it revolves around a need to believe that it can be accomplished. After all, only if one is able to think themselves into believing that this is possible, can they then think themselves into believing that they have in fact already accomplished it.

And it is this belief that allows them to believe in turn that "I" was not merely thrown fortuotously at birth into an essentially meaningless world. Instead, there does exist some teleological font they can anchor "I" to.

And I'm not arguing that there isn't, only that "here and now" my own particular "I" is no longer able to think myself into believing it.

Like you, I am basically an agnostic here. Only I keep coming back to two components of my own existence that seem clearly beyond my reach:

1] understanding the extent to which "I" is autonomous
2] understanding the gap between what "I" think here and now and all that can be understood about existence itself

felix dakat wrote: Dominance hierarchies go back as far as the lobster as Jordan Peterson famously argues. But even Peterson admits that dominance hierarchies are not necessarily male-dominated. And to argue that because that's the way things have been that's the way they always must be is simply fallacious.


This of course becomes entangled in political narratives entangled in assumptions made about the relationship between genes and memes entangled in assumptions made about gender roles ever evolving over time and space historically and culturally.

Here I am in turn an agnostic.

Down in this hole I have dug for myself morally.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:32 pm

satyr wrote:The foundation of Nihilism:
Absolute un-free-will, or Determinism, implies that life is inevitable, and part of some universal programming, some 'telos'. Though many would deny such a thing.
But isn't that what Abrahamism already believes? Don't the Christians already believe in this?
They compromised, going the other direction, inventing absolute free-will, to explain why 'evil' exists in a world created, according to them, by an absolutely good, benevolent one-god.


I've never been able to quite grasp how on earth he manages to intertwine nihilism with Abrahamism. Other than as an intellectual contraption in his head.

Not many nihilists I have come across believed in determinism. That human interactions are inevitably only what they are. Me, I acknowledge right from the start that I have no way in which to determine it [definitively] one way or the other.

Instead, I take my own existential leap to autonomy and then suggest that the importance of nihilism revolves around conflicting value judgments in a No God world. No God and our values seem to be derived from dasein, conflictng goods and political power. Derived in turn from a very, very complex intertwining of genes and memes evolving over the centuries historically, culturally and experientially

Now, out in the real world [and for all practical purposes] Abrahamism starts with the assumption that all meaning is derived [both ontologically and teleologically] from the God worshipped and adored by Christians, Jews and Moslems.

On the other hand, many nihilists suggest that in a No God world there is no essential, fundamental, objective, necessary meaning [font] that mere mortals can fall back on to reconfigure the is/ought world into just another manifestation of the either/or world.

With Satyr of course that revolves around his take on nature. Ultimately, genes tell the tale. There are "natural" and "unnatural" behaviors.

And only he and his "one of us" clique/claque at KT can properly distinguish them.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby felix dakat » Sat Jan 19, 2019 4:21 pm

Well, Satyr is as entitled to his religion as anyone else is entitled to theirs. When they blow past what I consider the epistemological situation to arrive at absolutism, I can only marvel. But, I've been there, so I should know what it's like.

It takes philosophical faith to hold that there even is an ultimate reality, let alone that one knows what it is. What happens to intellectual humility when one KNOWS one wholly possesses ultimate reality?

Faith implies doubt. Where there is certainty, faith is no longer needed.

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sat Jan 19, 2019 6:46 pm

felix dakat wrote: Well, Satyr is as entitled to his religion as anyone else is entitled to theirs. When they blow past what I consider the epistemological situation to arrive at absolutism, I can only marvel. But, I've been there, so I should know what it's like.


Back when I was there too, I could only marvel at the folks who didn't get it. God or Marx or Trotsky or all the other moral and political fonts that "I" can be anchored to.

Only later did I come to understand that the whole point was the font itself. To be anchored.

And now that I'm not, I am hardly better off. All I can really hope for is that someone will convince me that my own rendition of nihilism is just another font.

Intellectual and/or existential.

felix dakat wrote: It takes philosophical faith to hold that there even is an ultimate reality, let alone that one knows what it is. What happens to intellectual humility when one KNOWS one wholly possesses ultimate reality?

Faith implies doubt. Where there is certainty, faith is no longer needed.


All true. Well, if in fact it is true.

And, perhaps, simply "human all too human".
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:02 pm

felix dakat wrote:Well, Satyr is as entitled to his religion as anyone else is entitled to theirs. When they blow past what I consider the epistemological situation to arrive at absolutism, I can only marvel. But, I've been there, so I should know what it's like.

It takes philosophical faith to hold that there even is an ultimate reality, let alone that one knows what it is. What happens to intellectual humility when one KNOWS one wholly possesses ultimate reality?

Faith implies doubt. Where there is certainty, faith is no longer needed.
Faith is pretty Abrahamic and isn't emphasized so much in other religions. Immersion is more the goal.

The whole belief, epistemology, faith, disbelief, wordy, proofs, non-experiential is just a subculture of religion and not a necessary one.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby felix dakat » Sun Jan 20, 2019 6:19 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
felix dakat wrote:Well, Satyr is as entitled to his religion as anyone else is entitled to theirs. When they blow past what I consider the epistemological situation to arrive at absolutism, I can only marvel. But, I've been there, so I should know what it's like.

It takes philosophical faith to hold that there even is an ultimate reality, let alone that one knows what it is. What happens to intellectual humility when one KNOWS one wholly possesses ultimate reality?

Faith implies doubt. Where there is certainty, faith is no longer needed.
Faith is pretty Abrahamic and isn't emphasized so much in other religions. Immersion is more the goal.

The whole belief, epistemology, faith, disbelief, wordy, proofs, non-experiential is just a subculture of religion and not a necessary one.

I was simply stating my point of view. You seem to be going out of your way to negate it. Why?

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Sun Jan 20, 2019 10:31 am

felix dakat wrote:
Karpel Tunnel wrote:
felix dakat wrote:Well, Satyr is as entitled to his religion as anyone else is entitled to theirs. When they blow past what I consider the epistemological situation to arrive at absolutism, I can only marvel. But, I've been there, so I should know what it's like.

It takes philosophical faith to hold that there even is an ultimate reality, let alone that one knows what it is. What happens to intellectual humility when one KNOWS one wholly possesses ultimate reality?

Faith implies doubt. Where there is certainty, faith is no longer needed.
Faith is pretty Abrahamic and isn't emphasized so much in other religions. Immersion is more the goal.

The whole belief, epistemology, faith, disbelief, wordy, proofs, non-experiential is just a subculture of religion and not a necessary one.

I was simply stating my point of view. You seem to be going out of your way to negate it. Why?
I guess one could interpret my behavior as motivated by 'an urge to negate Felix decat's ideas.' Or one could think that I disagree aboutt some things and post about that in response. For me it's not a trivial issue. Often in discussions online about religion in general I find that it is really in the main Christianity or Abrahamic religions that are taking the place of religion. Or even more fundamental, fundamentalist Christianity is taking that place. I think this skews the ideas and simplifies any debates that arise and I think that is important to bring up. I know you have read about religions in general and know a lot about them in general, so there's no reason to take this personally and I did not attack you, I disagreed with what you wrote on those grounds. (and even within Christianity there are many believers whose beliefs are based on experiences, not (or not just) faith. Atheists and others may think they are minisinterpreting those beliefs, but still there is a huge empircal component and also a utilitarian one, even in the supposedly faith based religions ((by utilitarian, I mean that many people, especially people who are born again or find god in rehab or convert or return to the church find that it helps them turn their life around. IOW it works for them. This is not proof for others, but it is important not to confuse this with simply choosing to make a leap of faith.))) So, yup I am going to bring this stuff up.

The odd thing, for me, about your response, is that anyone posting here could say to those who disagree with them

I am simply stating my point of view. You seem to be going out of your way to negate it. Why?


I say that is odd first because, of course you are simply stating your point of view. That covers nearly everything people do in discussion forums.

I am not sure how you judge my 'going out of my way' either.

I have some tendency to interact with ideas I disagree with, though I will point out ideas I agree with and arguments I think are well formulated in either direction. I am trying to learn. I am trying to learn why I disagree or what might be weak with my own point of view. I think out loud you could say. What happens if I probe something that I do not think is correct. Do my objections hold, make sense even to me once they are there.

But I can refrain from responding to your posts. I don't see anything wrong with someone just wanting to express their opinions and move on. Of course, you can just ignore posts or posters you think are motivated by something personal or whatever the problematic motivation might be.

I can be a cranky poster. But it seems to me my posts in relation to you have been polite, not ad hom, not mean spirited and I have experienced the same in response. So I am not sure why you are going ad hom here. I mean ad hom in the sense of go 'to the man'.
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